Pittston Area’s Kaylene Sutkowski, right, controls the ball as Wyoming Area’s Marissa Charney defends.photos by BILL TARUTIS
Pittston Area’s Sara Ruby, right, is congratulated by teammate Liz Mikitish, after scoring a goal against Wyoming Area.
Wyoming Area’s Samantha Acacio heads the ball against Pittston Area.
Pictured clockwise from top, Wyoming Area keeper Megan Yurek makes a save in a crowd against Pittston Area; PA’s Kaylene Sutkowski, left, battles WA’s Katie Scalzo; WA’s Jenna Shrinak, left, passes the ball as PA’s Kaylene Sutkowski pursues; Jordan Spindler (23) controls the ball for PIttston Area; Pittston Area’s Mariana Sell battles with WA’s Gabby Bohan (15) and Jennifer Bone (33) for control of the ball.photos by BILL TARUTIS
The Pittston Area and Wyoming Area girls’ soccer teams took the field on a warm and sunny day at the Bucky Harris Sports Complex in Hughestown on Thursday afternoon, and the only thing shining brighter than the mid-April sun was the play of Pittston Area’s Sara Ruby.
The freshman scored two goals to lead the Lady Patriots to there first win of a season, a 3-2 victory over the Lady Warriors in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 crossover game. Both teams played exceptional soccer and displayed the fight one would expect when the cross-river rivals take the field against each other.
"There’s no other game like a Wyoming Area-Pittston Area game,” said Pittston Area coach Nicole Tieso. “Nothing is held back."
Both teams went at it from the start.
Through the first 30 minutes of the game, both teams had scoring chances that were spoiled by strong defensive efforts. A ball played over the top of the defense by Pittston Area was swept away by WA’s Shannon Ritts just before the Lady Patriots forward got her foot to it. A few minutes later, Wyoming Area’s Katie Scalzo blasted a free kick from 30 yards out onto the frame of the goal but Jordan Cumbo was there to snatch the ball out of mid-air. One minute later, Ruby found herself one-on-one with Lady Warriors goalkeeper Megan Yurek. Ruby tried to get off a shot but Yurek dove at her feet and knocked the ball away.
However, Ruby could only be held in check for so long.
She kicked off the scoring with less than eight minutes left in the half as she broke through the defense using an incredible combination of speed and strength. One-on-one with the keeper, Ruby calmly tucked the ball just inside the left post to give the Lady Patriots a 1-0 lead.
"(Ruby) is very good forward upfront, can control the ball, very poised on the break away and can distribute the ball," said Tieso.
As good as Ruby is, the Lady Warriors also have some offensive talent. Two minutes after Pittston Area found the back of the net, Wyoming Area did the same.
Kourtny Schwerdtman played the ball to Samantha Acacio who touched the ball past the outstretched arms of Cumbo, off the right post and into the goal to tie the game at 1-1 at the 34:28 mark of the first half.
But the young Pittston Area team would not be overwhelmed by the more experienced Wyoming Area squad.
With 2:50 left in the half, Liz Mikitish ripped a shot from outside the box onto the goal. Yurek jumped to make the save but could only touch it as it went off her hand and into the goal to give the Lady Patriots a 2-1 lead at halftime.
Ruby wasted no time to start the second half.
The fabulous freshman once again was able to shed the defenders and use her speed to sprint past another to get herself one-on-one with the keeper. Yurek charged and sprawled out at Ruby’s feet but she chipped the ball into the net to push the PA lead to 3-1 just nine minutes into the second half.
Four minutes later WA’s Acacio dribbled around the defense and hit a shot which appeared to be going into the net. However, Cumbo was able to reach out and get her fingertips on it for an incredible save and to preserve the two-goal lead.
Wyoming Area kept applying pressure as head coach Mike Pryor moved his all-star midfielder Scalzo to the front.
It proved to be a smart move.
With 11:43 left in the game, Schwerdtman took the ball out of the air and placed it nicely into the path of Scalzo who rifled a shot into the left side of the net to cut the Pittston Area lead to 3-2.
"It’s not me. It’s the players out there. They’re the ones doing the work. I’m just trying to put them in position to find success and mainly enjoy it, too," said Pryor. "Scoring goals is fun so obviously (Scalzo) enjoys going up top."
As the final seconds ticked away, Wyoming Area had one last chance to tie the game as the ball found its way to the always-dangerous Scalzo who was about 20 yards from the goal. She blasted a final attempt but the ball bent wide of the goal and Pittston Area was able to breathe a sigh of relief as he captured its first victory of the season.
"We just wanted to make sure we played like a team, work the ball around and move the ball from the mid to the wings to the front and always looking for that extra pass or for that open girl," said Tieso. "They seemed to mesh very well."
Pittston Area’s Cumbo had nine saves in the net while her counterpart Yurek recorded eight.
The Lady Patriots recorded 11 shots on goal as did Wyoming Area.
One day after its offense came out of its winter hibernation, Pittston Area failed to find the back of the net in a 2-0 loss to Tunkhannock on the road Friday in a WVC Division 2 Crossover.
The Lady Patriots allowed one goal in each half as the Lady Tigers offense peppered PA keeper Jordan Combo with 25 shots. The sophomore was credited with eight saves between the pipes.
In turn, Pittston Area managed just five shots on goal against Tunkhannock with zero corner kicks.
Despite goals from Jenn Bone and Jenna Skrinak, Wyoming Area settled for a 2-2 overtime tie with Hanover in a WVC Division 2 Crossover on Friday afternoon in Wyoming.
Bone scored on an assist from Katie Scalzo to tie the score at 1-1 late in the first half, and Skrinak then scored unassisted 10 minutes into the second half to give the Lady Warriors a 2-1 lead.
But the Lady Hawkeyes came back and knotted the game at 2-2 with 20 minutes left in the game.
Both teams played the remaining 40 minutes without a goal resulting in a tie.
Wyoming Area (1-2-1) outshot Hanover, 26-17, with six corners. Caitlin Vitale stopped 17 shots in goal for the Lady Warriors.
1t. Ruby, PA…3
1t. Scalzo, WA…3
3t. Bone, WA…2
3t. Sutkowski, PA…2
5t. Six tied with…1
1t. Scalzo, WA…2
1t. Schwerdtman, WA…2
3t. Fereck, PA…1
3t. Gallagher, WA…1
3t. Mikitish, PA…1
1. Cumbo, PA…44
2. Vitale, WA…24
3. Yurek, WA…15
PA v. MMI Prep
WA at Honesdale
PA v. Hanover
WA v. MMI Prep